Residence and work visas for Turkey

Residence and work visas for Turkey
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Updated 2020-05-25 11:27

A visa will only allow you to stay in Turkey for up to 90 days. In order to extend your stay beyond this period, you should apply for a long-term permit within 30 days after your date of arrival. Here is a walkthrough of the procedure.

Residence permit in Turkey

The residence permit (ikamet) is the default long-term stay permit, applicable to any expat who does not (yet) have an employment contract. It concerns students, interns, retirees, but you can also claim one without having to elaborate on your reasons for staying in Turkey. The law governing the Turkish residence permit was enacted in 2013 (No: 6458). According to this, tourists cannot stay longer than 90 days in Turkey in any 180 days period. Therefore, you should apply for a residence permit to extend your duration of stay and reside in the country legally.

Your first residence permit can be issued for a period of 1 year at most, provided your passport does not expire earlier.

To apply, simply file an online application on the immigration services website. You will be assigned an appointment (randevu) at the immigration office, whereby you will be required to submit an application file including a notarized proof of residence (like a rental contract or a written invitation from a Turkish resident), a proof of health insurance coverage, biometric photos (4 of them), a bank slip demonstrating your ability to support yourself financially throughout your stay (as of 2020, USD 500 per month of stay is required), and a receipt of payment for the registration fees (which can be performed at any tax office). If you cannot show a notarized rental agreement for proof of residency, you can also show utility bills under your name.

 Good to know:

As of 2020, the total government fees for residence permits is 568TL (110TL card fee 458 single entry fee). Assuming you subscribe to a minimum-coverage local health insurance policy, the total cost of your residence permit should not exceed 1,200 Turkish liras.

 Useful link:

Online application for residence permit

Work permit in Turkey

Provided you have an employment contract, a work permit will substitute for a residence permit.

Obtaining a work permit is slightly different, as the application must originate from your Turkish employer. Still, you will have to make an appointment, with a file comprised of the same supporting documents as for a residence permit, plus your employment contract, a certified translation of your diplomas, and either a work visa or a residence permit with a remaining validity of at least 6 months.

You can obtain your work visa from a Turkish embassy or consulate in your home country in case you found your job from abroad (for more information, see our visas for Turkey article). If you find a position after entering Turkey under a tourist or student visa, you will be required to get a residence permit first before converting it into a work permit.

 Attention:

The termination of your work contract results in that of your work permit, and hence puts an end to your authorization to stay in the country. However, it is possible to apply for another residence or work permit right away. All you need to do is to find another job.

Renewals

An application for extension should be filed a minimum of 1 month prior to the expiration date of your permit.

The required documents for renewal are the same as for an the initial application, but the good news is that you are not required to attend a face-to-face appointment unless your personal situation has changed since your previous application, you can simply mail in your documents.

Permit extensions can be issued for up to 2 years. After you spend 8 back-to-back years in Turkey while being on residence or work permit, then you may be eligible for a permanent residence permit.

 Good to know:

The Turkish immigration services have set up a hotline (157 from a Turkish line) whereby operators speaking half a dozen foreign languages are available to answer any question you may have about residence and work permits.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.